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Re: [WorldCarShare] ride-sharing, car-pooling, vanpooling, and (organized) hitchhiking. And, my favorite, digital hitchhiking.

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  • Michael Yeates
    Hi Eric ... I note a reference to two points of particular interest ... (i) a transit strike and (ii) the problem of sprawl. As has been mentioned
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 19, 2007
      Hi Eric ...

      I note a reference to two points of particular interest ... (i) a transit strike and (ii) the "problem" of sprawl.

      As has been mentioned previously, Paris and many Parisians suddenly discovered bicycle transport during the big public transport strike of Christmas 1995 and from what was reported to cycling conferences in 1996 and 1997, suddenly the inner areas were made much more cycling friendly, and from what I saw towards the end of 1997, much of this was re-allocation of road space and some involved widening 'bus lanes" to provide more space for cyclists, and lessons were learned. So as was also mentioned recently, "we" need to see these "windows of opportunity" and use them to promote the best outcomes which I would have thought are to continue to reduce reliability on (and of) car use in favour of walking and cycling , and in ordinary circumstances, public transport. So is there a priority role for walking and cycling in the inner and some middle ring areas in preference to promoting car use in any form, and if so to what extent? This will of course vary, but would seem to need to be added into a hierarchy not unlike the "York hierarchy" perhaps as another category if not classified as car use, and if so would this category be above or below the public transport category?

      Secondly the "problem" of the sprawl areas or what others might call the suburbs. Here again the question is why "we" don't also prioritise walking and cycling. Both can easily be promoted in terms of cycling with same effort as walking but travel four times the distance ... or same distance in a quarter the time. So once the time involved gets much below say 10 minutes, walking is the obvious choice but at 10 minutes it is possible to cycle say 3km with the same effort as walking for 10 minutes. So how much of our sprawl is within say 3kms of where either public transport or the services we 'need' are to be found such that within this distance, walking and cycling are prioritised, again using the "York hierarchy" or similar? Should cars, vans etc be promoted in these areas and if so, on a limited basis in terms of 'need' and use including much less threat to safety for pedestrians and cyclists?

      It seems to be counter-productive to not promote these modes in some way related to hierarchy of preference and/or priority.

      Similarly, it has to be recognised that cars, vans, etc and provision made for them present the primary reason so many people choose not to walk or cycle so it follows that promoting use of cars, vans etc presents or should present us with a dilemma.
      Maybe all car- and van- share and pool vehicles should be fitted with GIS linked transponders or similar to prevent them travelling at speeds greater than 30km/h on any urban roads or streets but able to travel at normal speeds on motorways etc?

      Perhaps they should also be fitted with the latest anti-collision brake interlocks so they are effectively unable to crash into pedestrians and/or cyclists?

      Just a thought or two ... perhaps in need of some resolution however ... and perhaps needed to "position" what you propose below?

      Michael Yeates ...................

      At 01:31 AM 17/11/2007, eric.britton wrote:

      Dear Friends,

      We have been flirting around the edges with this for some years now, but I think it is now time to see how we might more aggressively extend World Carshare Consortium (http://www.worldcarshare.com) and our so--called ‘idea factory’ (which you will see on the top menu) to reach out to bring in leading groups and matters of interest with regard to the other way to share a car – going variously by such names as ride-sharing, car-pooling, vanpooling, and (organized) hitchhiking. And, my favorite, digital hitchhiking.

      The trick that has held this back thus far is (my possibly erroneous appreciation) that most of these programs are very local and often very artisanal. They work when they work because there are people and energy levels behind them. A bit like carsharing was for its first decades.

      What I think is most interesting if to see if we might create some kind of leading edge grouping that brings together projects and programs that are of a sort that they could be extended to other places in powerful and perhaps original ways.

      I have a local perspective on this as well. IN carrying out our studies in the Greening of Paris series, we are seeing projects, service and approaches that are really making a difference. But today we are in the midst of a rather painful transit strike, and first class dynamic carsharing should be out front and center. Now there is quite a bit of carsharing (Co-voiturage here) going on, but as I see it there is plenty of room for progress. Furthermore, beyond this, while those responsible are doing a world class job at rationalizing the transportation system of Paris at the center, once you get into the sprawl areas, we might as well be in Phoenix  SO there is a great deal that remains to be done.

      So this first step in this outreach is to draw this to your attention and to ask for your ideas as to groups, projects, approaches that could useful be brought to the attention of our group here.

      Is this a good idea? Or not? Comments? Suggestions.

      Eric Britton
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